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cakers

Missing a rehearsal

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momto2ballerinas

 

That is a huge commitment and not your first rodeo. And you were also the one posting about the politics in your studio. And now, you want special treatment for a concert?

Good heavens, I never said I was looking for special treatment. Quite the contrary, the only thing I expect is fair treatment. I've seen many dancers over the years miss rehearsals, including dress rehearsals, and last year the AD's daughter missed a performance so she could study for finals. I would never consider having DD miss a performance, but given the number of dancers I've seen miss rehearsals for a variety of reasons (including, yes, a concert) it never occurred to me that I was making an unreasonable request, which is why I went to the board for opinions. There have certainly been many, which I appreciate.

 

I don't think your request was unreasonable at all. Obviously some here on this discussion board have different experiences when it comes to missing a rehearsal, etc. It sounds like at your studio, girls have missed for various reasons which I'm sure is why you didn't think it inappropriate to purchase those tickets.

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dancypants1

#%*?! I am in the wrong forum! My kid is 12. I do this about half the time, I guess having the two right next to each other confuses me. Mea culpa, admins, I will remember one of these days!

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MaryKTX

Cakers, I have great sympathy for your situation. I have long been the parent who has been perpetually afraid to buy tickets to the many wonderful performances in our city out of fear that our older DD might be summoned to ballet (as she often has been). I wonder how our family will feel about this down the line, because the end result is that our daughter who has played violin for 13 years has never seen the marvelous symphony in our city, and our other daughter who loves to sing has missed most of the fantastic Broadway touring shows that come several times a year. Having read and appreciated this board for years,I do not think many in this community lack for devotion to the art of dance, nor do our children. We all struggle to balance the dreams of our dancers against many other things, including needs of other family members. I think all of this would be so much easier if AD's and artistic faculty, at least at our studio, would try to work more carefully with calendars in advance so that there are fewer pop-up performances and more advance notice of rehearsals whenever possible, so there are opportunities to do critical things like get medical appointments and maybe even do something special as a family every once in a while. I have never been too convinced by the argument that our children need to get used to being commanded to be present last minute because that's how it works in the professional world. That may well be true, but most of these children are also full-time students who do not have complete command of their schedules or even of their own transportation. And, let's face it, the only people who are being paid in most of our children's studios are the teachers and the AD's, thus they are the professionals in these settings. I have to say that as much as our daughter loves to dance and as grateful as I am for the amazing opportunities she has had, I have at times wished that her teachers would hold themselves to the demanding standards of professionalism as they hold our children (and by extension, us). If things could be planned just a little carefully and a little more in advance so everyone could make every effort to accomodate, it would save so much pain all around.

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Momof3darlings

 

I have never been too convinced by the argument that our children need to get used to being commanded to be present last minute because that's how it works in the professional world. That may well be true, but most of these children are also full-time students who do not have complete command of their schedules or even of their own transportation.

Oh professionals have to make those choices everyday also. And they learn to weigh them out based on the decision making that they learned along the way. Pros have to make choices everyday: missing last minute invites from her AD for photo ops because they have a part time job (no command of schedule when your time is obligated to pay your bills). Or choosing to call in to same part time job for the 10th time in two months because you really want and need to do the photo op. Or having to miss a paid gig because you have to study for a college exam that you haven't had time to study for because you're working an extra job every evening after dancing all day. Or, needing to go to physical therapy but it's on a day that there is new choreography for a piece you've been cast in when you have an understudy who you will then be faced with trusting to learn choreography from. The list can go on and on.

 

But again, I find we're back to choices and consequences my theme of the day.

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Mousling

 

cakers, just curious...if your DD knew about the tickets and had to choose, what do you think she would say?

I have no doubt she would choose the performance, but I prefer not to subject her to that disappointment.

 

If you have no doubt your DD would choose to perform instead of going to the concert, and your AD chooses that she perform instead of going to the concert, is there still a problem?

 

Is it more an issue that some people get special treatment but not all? If so, I totally get that, which is why we do not allow any misses except illness, emergency and school obligations that dont fall on a mandatory date. I am sure people make up illness and although sometimes we know, I am sure often we don't. That is their cross to bear. And that is life in general. You do your best to operate with integrity and hope others do as well.

 

It is not a joy to replace a cast member - child or professional. There are probably 10 reasons I can state without even thinking too hard that it honestly would be much much easier for us to turn a blind eye and let things go -- including we love that particular person in that particular role, costume considerations, understudies not at the same level even though we did want them to have a chance to learn the part, etc... but there is NO one person who is important enough to not come to rehearsal when they have something better to do... well, maybe Natalia Osipova, but she doesn't work for us.

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Momof3darlings

but there is NO one person who is important enough to not come to rehearsal when they have something better to do

 

This is great!

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dancemaven

And here we are talking about a performance, no less!

 

If you have no doubt that your DD would choose to honor her performance obligation---or in her eyes, performance opportunity---then I would applaud her recognition of priority given to commitments she made and admire her character.

 

The simple fact is that, like my DD's soccer game time and Nutcracker audition, it was more likely than not that the times would not coincide on that particular Saturday---we knew Nutcracker auditions were traditionally on a particular day in September, we knew there would be a soccer game on the same Saturday, but we also knew there were several different times her game might be scheduled and only one conflicted with the Nutcracker audition.

 

In your case, you knew when the concert date(s) were, you knew Nutcracker rehearsals/performances would be scheduled, you just didn't know exactly when ALL might be. But, chances of them coinciding on one specific date were a long-shot. So you gambled, and unfortunately, like our soccer game time, it didn't work in your favor. But that's not to say there aren't many, many more days and times that it might have worked out-----it just didn't this time.

 

It definitely is a bummer! But that doesn't change that a commitment to a performance troupe is a commitment to the performance troupe and just because a 'better offer' comes along, that commitment should not be discretionary.

 

Of course, as Momof3darlings has said, there IS always the element of choice: the choice to honor a commitment or to not honor the commitment. The natural and logical consequences will follow either way. You (and your DD) must choose whether those consequences are worth the choice---short term and long term, tangible and intangible.

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firedragon0800

We have a professional ballet company many performance show, and two casts. It has been an issue with parents wanting to switch days with their alternates, for various reasons. Some for the type of event at issue here, but mostly because they purchased tickets for their whole family and they want to see their dk on stage. In some years it got completely out of control so the ballet mistress really had to put her foot down.

 

We've seen whole ski vacations, exotic trips and what not cancelled due to rehearsal and performance schedules. We personally have missed funerals "out of state" (yes more than one) for close family, for performances, and we have had an alternate. In either case it was hard, and a personal choice but we also felt that is what they (family) would have wanted. It isn't a good feeling, and makes you question your sanity.

 

If there is no alternate, then you really don't have any wiggle room, but if their is I would discuss with the alternates parents, but if that is a competitive situation or school then you have to be prepared to entertain the thought how this will reflect on your dk.

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firedragon0800

Just to add to the above post, as an alternate we also can't schedule activities for even the days we don't perform... so in effect we are "on call" during the whole Nutcracker season.

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bluemountain

This thread made me think how lucky we are that we have only one Nutcracker show a season and the rehearsals are added to the regular classes at the end! :huepfen:

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Mousling

That is great if you don't mind class time being taken up by rehearsals, unless it is truly time that is added on after a full class. Also, professional productions don't necessarily cast children from just one school... our company does not have a school.

 

There can be a good Nutcracker fit for mostly everyone, if you look around -- though there are tradeoffs in terms of some prestige (not always though) vs. convenience. And sometimes, being in Nutcracker simply is not for everyone.

 

Bottom line: Know what you're getting into and if you accept a role, accept the terms.

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bluemountain

Mousling, our school is small and new, so we don't have the whole Nutcracker staged, just some of the dances that suit the kids who are ready to perform. There are a few big company productions of Nutcracker in the area, and I know how big of a commitment this is. But at the moment I prefer for my kids to stay at their studio and work with their teachers on things that need to be improved - even when it is while rehearsing a dance for the show. Our days are already full, if anything I would like to get rid of a thing or two, not to add more :). But thanks to you and everybody else, I am learning for the future years to come!

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Mousling

Like I said, there's a nutcracker for everyone -- and sometimes, nutcracker is not for everyone.

 

No one makes you do anything (not talking to Blue Mountain). You CHOSE for your child to participate and when it becomes a burden rather than a joy (usually for parents I find, rather than the student) then you need to rethink your choices. I mean that kindly and with complete sincerity.

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julisha

We are also "on call" during Nut season (30 shows, many casts). Our family has been out to dinner on a non performance night and DD was called in as an alternate for a sick dancer. Happens every year. Like many posters, we have been doing Nut for many years now and from October to December annually we know (and family and friends know) what we signed up for.

 

Agree with firedragon0800 and others. Be prepared to deal with the consequences (foreseen and unforeseen). Just because other kids have missed rehearsals for other reasons (outside of Illness and family emergency) and seemingly no one has a problem with it, doesn't mean that it goes unnoticed. Our School Director has a long memory and when kid roles/casting opportunities for other shows in the company season come up, she draws on her Nut experience to select dancers for these roles. Reliability and commitment are critical.

 

I think our DKs are pretty much the same when it comes down to choices. I asked my DD this morning if she wanted me to get tickets to see a version of Sleeping Beauty that is coming to town. Initially she said yes, but when she found out the only tickets I could get (I didn't get them, BTW) would be on a Tuesday evening, she politely declined because she does not want to miss class!

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lemlemish

So many good points have been made in this discussion, but I can't resist adding one more. I think it is really CRUCIAL that the school communicate the expectation of the student dancer. No, it does not need to be a signed paper contract. But every school could easily send out the info that states: "there are x number of performances on these dates. Additional performances may be scheduled for the following weekends dates x. Dancers need to be available for rehearsals which may be added to the schedule from x date to x date."

 

Then it's clear and the OP would know not to buy a ticket for a certain date.

 

Our Nut auditions are in September and it's ridiculous to think that we wouldn't be able to plan anything from Sept to December. We can because we are told in September when the rehearsals and performances are and the dates that the kids should be available in case there needs to be additional rehearsals.

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